Pep Guardiola says Aymeric Laporte is closing in on a return to action.

The French defender has been absent since the 4-1 win over Arsenal before Christmas but the City boss says he is on his way back.

He returned to the pitches at the CFA yesterday and completed a session on his own, and Guardiola predicts it’ll be around another week to ten days before he’s ready to play. 

Laporte yesterday and had a first session alone,” said Pep.

“So hopefully in one week (he will be available). I don’t know exactly, but hopefully one week, ten days he will be okay.”

The boss also revealed Sergio Aguero has been forced to self-isolate for a few days, saying:

“Unfortunately, he was in contact with a person who is positive. So he isolates for a few days.

“I don’t know exactly because he has been tested like all of us six times in the last 10, 15 days.

“He is negative and he is negative now too, but the protocol says if we have been in contact we have to isolate. He could not play today.”

Reflecting on our 3-0 win over Birmingham, Pep reaffirmed his desire to continue picking his strongest possible side, regardless of what competition we are playing in.

City’s excellent record in domestic cup competitions over the past four years bears testament to that fact, and Pep said: “If you follow the trajectory of our team since I arrived, we didn’t drop one game.

“That’s why we are in a fourth Carabao Cup final in a row - the FA Cup we won two seasons ago, and a semi-final last season.

“Players like Kyle and Gabriel came back today. Rodri didn’t play last game, Mendy for a long time didn’t play.

“So for six, seven players today was good. Every game we play, we will try to win and if the players are more or less fresh, I will use them. 

“Our first objective is done. Some young players were involved and we have qualified for the next round.”

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